Surrender (1931)

69 mins | Drama | 6 December 1931

Director:

William K. Howard

Cinematographer:

James Wong Howe

Editor:

Paul Weatherwax

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

A working title for this film was I Surrender . A Jul 1931 FD news item stated that Joan Bennett and Edward Crandall were set for the leading roles. Contemporary reviews erroneously refer to William Pawley's character as "Goulot." According to a biography of Ralph Bellamy, he was paid $1,500 by Fox as compensation for the severe haircut that he was required to have for his part. Bellamy's agent persuaded the studio to pay his client the extra money after arguing that the haircut "would keep [him] out of work for some time after the shooting was finished." Bellamy's biography also notes that the picture started filming on the old Fox lot at the corner of Western Avenue and Sunset Boulvard in Hollywood and finished at the Fox lot in Fox Hills. Although the biography referred to Fox Hills as recently completed, in fact, it had been used for many earlier films, including Sunrise (1927, see entry). In addition, the biography notes that two adjoining sound stages were required for an elaborate outdoor ... More Less

A working title for this film was I Surrender . A Jul 1931 FD news item stated that Joan Bennett and Edward Crandall were set for the leading roles. Contemporary reviews erroneously refer to William Pawley's character as "Goulot." According to a biography of Ralph Bellamy, he was paid $1,500 by Fox as compensation for the severe haircut that he was required to have for his part. Bellamy's agent persuaded the studio to pay his client the extra money after arguing that the haircut "would keep [him] out of work for some time after the shooting was finished." Bellamy's biography also notes that the picture started filming on the old Fox lot at the corner of Western Avenue and Sunset Boulvard in Hollywood and finished at the Fox lot in Fox Hills. Although the biography referred to Fox Hills as recently completed, in fact, it had been used for many earlier films, including Sunrise (1927, see entry). In addition, the biography notes that two adjoining sound stages were required for an elaborate outdoor set. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
21 Jul 31
p. 7.
Film Daily
29 Nov 31
p. 3.
HF
10-Oct-31
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Dec 30
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Sep 31
p. 3.
International Photographer
1 Dec 31
p. 29.
Motion Picture Herald
5 Dec 31
p. 58.
New York Times
28 Nov 31
p. 20.
Variety
1 Dec 31
p. 21.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A William K. Howard Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
Scr and dial by
Scr and dial by
Contr wrt
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Asst cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir and sets
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus score
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Axelle by Pierre Benoit (Paris, 1928).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
I Surrender
Release Date:
6 December 1931
Production Date:
1 September--mid October 1931
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
1 November 1931
Copyright Number:
LP2649
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
69
Length(in feet):
6,600
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Having lost three sons to the French and English armies in the World War, Prussian Count Reichendorf laments the days when the Reichendorfs made Prussia "the might of land." Reichendorf, a military general left with only one son, Dietrich, is forced to recruit military men from the prison camp he commands. Axelle, Reichendorf's niece, who became his ward when her parents died, lives in the Reichendorf castle and is courted by the disfigured Captain Elbing. Axelle shows little interest in Elbing, and when he reminds her how he dazzled her before he went into battle, she rejects his affections and tells him that she is engaged to Dietrich. Elbing pleads with her, insisting that his love for her is more intense and enduring than that of any other man, but she is not swayed. Meanwhile, at the German prison camp near the castle, new prisoners are brought in, including the wily and attractive French Sergeant Dumaine. Elbing soon puts Dumaine and the other prisoners to work at the unpleasant task of burial detail. When Dumaine, Fichet and other prisoners escape by overpowering the guards, they break into the Reichendorf castle and take refuge there, but are soon discovered by Axelle and taken back to the prison. One day, after noticing billows of smoke coming from the castle, Dumaine heroically rushes into the castle and puts out a kitchen fire. In gratitude for his valor, Elbing commissions Dumaine, an electrical engineer by profession, to wire the castle. Dumaine's new assignment puts him in close contact with Axelle, and they soon become friends. After one month, Axelle begins to trust Dumaine and suggests that ... +


Having lost three sons to the French and English armies in the World War, Prussian Count Reichendorf laments the days when the Reichendorfs made Prussia "the might of land." Reichendorf, a military general left with only one son, Dietrich, is forced to recruit military men from the prison camp he commands. Axelle, Reichendorf's niece, who became his ward when her parents died, lives in the Reichendorf castle and is courted by the disfigured Captain Elbing. Axelle shows little interest in Elbing, and when he reminds her how he dazzled her before he went into battle, she rejects his affections and tells him that she is engaged to Dietrich. Elbing pleads with her, insisting that his love for her is more intense and enduring than that of any other man, but she is not swayed. Meanwhile, at the German prison camp near the castle, new prisoners are brought in, including the wily and attractive French Sergeant Dumaine. Elbing soon puts Dumaine and the other prisoners to work at the unpleasant task of burial detail. When Dumaine, Fichet and other prisoners escape by overpowering the guards, they break into the Reichendorf castle and take refuge there, but are soon discovered by Axelle and taken back to the prison. One day, after noticing billows of smoke coming from the castle, Dumaine heroically rushes into the castle and puts out a kitchen fire. In gratitude for his valor, Elbing commissions Dumaine, an electrical engineer by profession, to wire the castle. Dumaine's new assignment puts him in close contact with Axelle, and they soon become friends. After one month, Axelle begins to trust Dumaine and suggests that he remove his prison number from his uniform. When news reaches Germany that Dietrich has led his regiment in victorious battle against the French, an end to the war is predicted. Axelle is overjoyed at the news, but Dumaine, whose loyalties still remain with France, is upset. Back at the prison, Dumaine's fellow inmates resent Dumaine's privileged status at the castle, and plan a breakout without him. Soon after Dietrich returns from the battlefront, he discovers his fiancée in the arms of Dumaine, and learns that Elbing, too, is trying to woo Axelle, so he decides to return to the front. When the jealous Elbing learns of Dumaine's affair with Axelle, he sends the Frenchman to be executed despite Axelle's pleas to spare him. Elbing later has a change of heart, however, and decides to call off the execution. News of the Armistice and the end of the war brings with it orders to suspend all disciplinary action against prisoners of war, and Elbing, who sees no further use for himself as a military leader, commits suicide. With the battlelines suddenly erased, Dumaine and Axelle resume their romance with a kiss. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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